Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
"European music may please women, children, and common people, but Japanese gentlemen may not endure it."
In singing, the Chinese custom of using falsetto tones, obtains also in Japan. One peculiar taste for "Western music exists among the Japanese; they like, and purchase many of our music boxes, and many are made in Switzerland especially for the Chinese and Japanese market. These contain two Chinese airs; but it is said that the people would enjoy them even more, if there were no harmonies attached. The entire instrumental music of Japan, partakes of a tinkling character, suggestive of a music box.
Secular singing is an indispensable adjunct of banqueting and feasting. These are frequently enlivened by songs and the sound of stringed instruments.*
The Japanese have a great penchant for excur­sions, banquets and lively enjoyments; they have been, not inaptly, called tho " Parisians of the West;" hence it is not surprising to find houses of entertainment scattered broadcast throughout the realm. In these tea houses, every kind of dissipa­tion, from the most innocent, to the reverse, is found, often under the same roof. The most aristocratic of these resorts, have a numerous staff of attendants, among which are singers, dancers, and guitar-players. Although these establishments appear disreputable in European eyes, yet the Japanese gentleman does not hesitate to take his
•Or»n'B Account of Japan (Pinkerton), p 633.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III